Paul Addison, looks at his achievements and legacy in this admirably concise and illuminating volume.
In his day Winston Churchill was one of the most famous human beings who ever lived. In 1945 most people in the world would have seen his name in the headlines, heard the latest news of him on the radio or seen his face beaming or glowering in the newsreels. His funeral in 1965 is said to have been watched on television by 350 million people around the globe. Those days are long gone, and the massed ranks of his contemporaries have been scythed away leaving only a few who remember him as a living presence. But of all the politicians of the 20th century, he is the only one to have inspired an apparently never-ending cascade of books, articles and documentaries. Part of the explanation lies in the fact that his place in our past is still in dispute. He is as controversial today as he was for much of his lifetime, and most of those who study him fall into one of two camps: pro or ante. Neutrality and indifference are rare. In this book Paul Addison, who has been studying Churchill for 40 years, weighs the arguments, looking at both the pro and anti Churchill case, but concluding not only that he was a great man but that his life was one of the most astonishing and fortunate accidents in world history.
Paul Addison taught history at the University of Edinburgh from 1967 to 1996 and was Director of the Centre for Second World War Studies from 1996 to 2005. A former Visiting Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, his publications include The Road to 1945: British Politics and the Second World War (1975) and Churchill on the Home Front 1900-1955 (1992)
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